by Abbie Goodman, MALSCE Chief of External Affairs
Draft letter to US House members on Retain Act: see end of this report
Still ongoing: Workforce Participation Goal Requirements: I requested some legal guidance from Donovan Hatem to consider these questions related to Workforce Participation Goal Requirements under M.G.L. c. 149, § 44A(2)(G), which states that all contracts by a state agency or state-assisted contracts for design, construction, reconstruction, installation, demolition, maintenance, or repair must contain workforce participation goals for minorities and women.
PPP /FAR Credits issue and Federal Infrastructure Bills:
Update during week of October 26: Uncertainty for infrastructure bill …..Stay tuned.
Division of Occupational Licensure: Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors
Next Board of Registration meeting will be on October 28, 2021, on Teams. The Board of Registration plans to continue virtual meetings for now, as the Governor and Legislature have extended the law allowing virtual public meetings like this to continue through April 1, 2022, . To connect to the meeting, go to this page and scroll down to the meeting listing to download the agenda with connection instructions.
Friday, September 24, 2021: these are not minutes, but a summary, but a summary of what I heard during the meeting:
Meeting ended at 10 AM
Background on Town of Swansea Issue:
The Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors is the state entity charged with establishing and enforcing licensing qualifications for the practice of engineering and surveying in the Commonwealth. The Board has been informed by a professional engineer that the town of Swansea is proposing bylaws that appear to require an engineer to obtain a local license prior to practicing within the town of Swansea.
The state’s licensing laws, G.L. c. 112, s. 81D through 81E, preempts municipalities from requiring individuals who hold licenses issued by the Board to obtain an additional license to practice in the municipality.
In 1941, the Legislature established the Board through promulgation of M.G.L. c. 13, s. 45. That law, as currently written, confers upon the Board the following exclusive powers and duties:
The board may: (i) establish the requirements for registration of professional engineers and professional land surveyors; (ii) establish standards of professional and ethical conduct for professional engineers and professional land surveyors; (iii) authorize and conduct appropriate examinations to determine the qualifications of applicants; (iv) grant certificates of registrations to qualified applicants; (v) establish standards for continuing education; and (vi) set and administer penalties as provided in sections 61 to 65E, inclusive, and section 81P of chapter 112 for fraudulent, deceptive or professionally-incompetent and unsafe practices and for violations of rules and regulations promulgated by the board.
M.G.L. c. 13, s. 45
The statewide licensing requirements to be enforced by the Board are set forth in further detail in M.G.L. c. 112, s. 81D to 81T.
Given the unambiguous language of M.G.L. c. 13, s. 45 and G.L. c. 112 81D to 81T, it is clear that the state Legislature intended to create a uniform system of licensure and regulation of professional engineers and land surveyors throughout the Commonwealth. Consequently, by the clear terms of these laws, the state has expressly preempted the field of licensure and regulation of engineers and land surveyors. Cities and towns are not authorized through their local boards of health or otherwise, to issue licenses to practice engineering or surveying and/ or regulate those professions.
MBTA Finances Cast a Long, Red Shadow for Incoming Leaders: New Publication from Mass Taxpayers Foundation Highlights Severe Budget Gap
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DPU 21-04, NEW Regulation 220 CMR 105: Use of Professional Engineers for Gas Utility Work: MA DPU's 9/21/21 Final Order completes the rulemaking on the use of PEs for gas projects with final Regs and final Guidelines in both redlined and clean copies. DPU Order > More on Issue >
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MEPA Hearings on Draft Regs: The MA Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office held Virtual Public Hearings on 10/12-13/21 on proposed amendments to 301 CMR 11.00 MEPA Regulations. Notice of Public Hearings
RETAIN Act email letter to US House; MALSCE Member Action Requested:
Draft Letter to modify:
Subject: H.R. 4634: RETAIN GPS and Satellite Communications Act of 2021
Dear Representative _____,
My name is ________________. I am a professional surveyor in [name your city/town and state). I am also a member of the Massachusetts Association of Land Surveyors and Civil Engineers (MALSCE) and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS).
I am very concerned about the threat to and expected interference to global positioning systems (GPS) technology brought about since the April 2020 decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve an application by a company known as Ligado.
In a 2020 testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, a witness from the US Department of Transportation testified that “high precision surveying” and “surveying equipment” are real world examples of expected GPS interference by Ligado. Allowing Ligado to continue poses a threat to the viability of civil and military GPS receivers across the country.
In my own company, the Ligado interference would directly impact our ability to conduct Land Surveys of multi-family affordable housing by introducing uncertainty in our measurements.
To mitigate this threat to GPS, on July 22, 2021, H.R. 4634: RETAIN GPS and Satellite Communications Act of 2021 was introduced by Congressman Jim Cooper[D-TN5], Congressman Donald Beyer [D-VA8], Congressman Ken Calvert [R-CA42], Congressman Frank Lucas [R-OK3], Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, [D-VA7], Congressman Glenn
Thompson, [R-PA15], Congressman Michael Turner [R-OH10], and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, [D-NY7].
This bipartisan legislation requires Ligado to cover the cost for correcting any interference their operations create for GPS users in the public or private sector. Over 100 organizations, including NSPS, have endorsed H.R. 4634: RETAIN GPS and Satellite Communications Act of 2021. I respectfully urge you to cosponsor H.R. 4634.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Address in MA
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